Locating DIY bargains this holiday season is proving to be a real challenge. Yeah, remember those low-cost sub-$300 Compaq Presario notebook computers that were “conveniently” sold out at Circuit City upon your 5 a.m. arrival? I hear ya. Well, All Electronics might have the salve to ease that pain.

The LC-7 robot line-sensing car kit is a fun way to experiment with optical sensors wrapped up in a conventional vehicle chassis. Although you are unable to choose your chassis (e.g., street, rescue, Mars, or jungle) and the erasable marker board inside the box might be torn, at $7.50 each, this could become the robot toy of the season. Why? Well, just mount the enclosed marker on the nose of your car and let it draw its own line to follow. Be sure to explain to your Mom that all of those black lines around the house were done in the name of scientific experimentation. She’ll understand. —Dave Prochnow

(Image: All Electronics)